While the debate over broad immigration reform continues in D.C. with no resolution in sight, there is another quiet movement toward easing some aspects of border security. The latest such plan under discussion between U.S. and Mexican leaders involves relaxing rules at the Mexico border for certain frequent business travelers who are deemed "trusted." The Guardian newspaper reports the program would involve a continent-wide pre-screening system to determine who would qualify as a "trusted traveler." The plan is being discussed as PresidentObama meets with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto at a North American leaders summit in Mexico this week.
Border security advocates are already skeptical of the plan. "There are a lot of people that come into this country, and if we don't do a security check on everybody, then the bad guys--drug smugglers, human smugglers, and even the possible terrorists--will figure out a way to manipulate that," says Curtis Collier, president of U.S. Border Watch. The U.S. already has trusted traveler programs like this in place with other countries, but Collier cautions that Mexico is different. "There's a lot less corruption within those governments, unlike Mexico which is just littered with corruption from the bottom to the very top," he tells KTRH.
Even if the leaders of U.S. and Mexico agree to this plan, it's unlikely the President could implement it on his own. Collier does not want to see it done via executive order. "I think this would certainly have to go before Congress," he says. "I believe the Republicans in Congress would probably turn it down, and I think there's some Democrats as well who would probably vote against it, simply because of the lack of trust that we have south of the border." Whether the trusted traveler plan with Mexico becomes reality or not, Collier thinks it's just part of a much larger effort. "What they're trying to do is weaken the immigration policy of the United States more and more, to push through a political agenda that is basically amnesty for everybody," he says.